Cajun Jambalaya Pasta

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One of our favorite things to do is to combine ingredients that you normally would not put together. Last time we checked, the words ‘pasta’ and ‘cajun’ normally do not lie in the same sentence or recipe. However, the richness of the Cajun jambalaya mixture pairs quite well with a wide noodle (like fettuccine). The starch from the pasta acts as a great thickening agent and makes for a rather delectable, seemingly very rich, yet quite light sauce.

Following the status quo is not our forte and so you will find in this recipe ingredients that might not normally going in a Cajun jambalaya. Things like Jamaican allspice and crab meat make an appearance to give this dish its own particular characteristics.

And, what better to go with a spicy dish than a spicy beer? Fortunately for us, we had a bottle of Billy’s Chillies from Twisted Pine in Boulder, CO, on hand. Now, understandably, this beer is not available outside of the Denver metro area. However, there are countless other chile beers out there that I am sure you can get your hands on. One thing to keep in mind here is that you want a lighter chile beer. Billy’s Chilies is perfect because it has a very light base with a kick of pepper to keep you on your toes. I would steer away from a porter or stout with chilies added since the bulky mouth feel from the roasted malts will overpower the dish.

We hope you find it as enjoyable as we did.

Chorizo and shrimp browning in the dutch oven.

The three bell peppers are chopped along with some dice fresh tomatoes, a beautiful orange habanero, a mound of scallions and some minced garlic.

The jambalya mixture is simmering away.

This is how we served the dish. However, feel free to garnish with whatever you may like and don’t forget to grab that chile beer out of the fridge!

Cajun Jambalaya Pasta
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
3 hr


  • 1 Red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Habanero, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 Large scallion, diced
  • 4-5 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 Medium-sized tomatoes (seeds removed), diced
  • 1.5 Pounds chicken breasts (3-4 breasts), cubed
  • 0.5 Pounds chorizo sausage (skinless)
  • 0.5 Pounds medium shrimps (peeled and deveined), butterflied
  • 1 Small can crab meat (claw or lump)
  • 1 Cup white wine (e.g., Chardonnay)
  • 3 Cups chicken broth
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 Teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 Teaspoon ground marjoram
  • 1/4 Teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 Teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Pound Fettuccine


  • Mix the cayenne, marjoram, allspice, ancho chili powder, coriander, white pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Place the chicken in a medium-sized bowl and add 1/3 of the the spice blend, tossing to coat. Place the shrimp in another bowl and add 1/3 of the spice blend, tossing to coat.
  • Heat dutch oven on medium high heat. Add the chorizo and cook for 3-4 minutes. Once the chorizo starts to brown and release some of its yummy juices (i.e., fat), add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are nice and pink. Remove the chorizo and shrimp and set aside. Try to keep as much fat in the dutch over as possible. Add the chicken to the hot dutch oven (if you do not have enough fat remaining from the sausage, add some of the olive oil). If your dutch oven is on the smaller side, you made need to cook the chicken in two batches. You want to sear the outside of the chicken but not fully cook it at this point. The chicken should take 3-4 minutes. Once seared, add the chicken to the sausage and shrimp and let sit. Add the olive oil to the dutch over. Place the peppers and scallion in the pan and saute until golden brown and delicious (about 10 minutes). Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes, just long enough for the tomatoes to brown a bit. At this point, add the garlic and saute for a minute or two, just until the garlic becomes aromatic. Add the crab (ensuring that most of the liquid in the can is removed) and let cook for just another minute. Add the white wine, bringing the liquid to a slight boil. Allow the wine to reduce by at least half before continuing. Add the chicken broth and the cream and bring the liquid back to a boil. Meanwhile, fill the stockpot with at least 4 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce the heat to low, add the chorizo, shrimp, and chicken, and let simmer for 45-60 minutes, or until the liquid reduces by about half. The sauce should be thick and creamy. With about 15 minutes remaining for the jambalaya, add the fettuccine to the boiling water and cook as per the package’s directions. Once the pasta is al dente, drain the pasta and mix into the jambalaya. Let sit for 5-10 minutes so that the flavors can meld with the pasta and so that the natural starches from the pasta can tighten the jambalaya just a bit more.
  • Serve in a shallow bowl and top with some fresh parsley and garlic croustinis. Or, for an added kick, top with some shredder pepper jack cheese! And, don’t forget to enjoy your Cajun jambalaya pasta with a Billy’s Chilies from Twisted Pine (or whatever light chile beer you can get your hands on).


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